The connection between stress and infertility

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Every day during our reproductive medicine consultation we find patients with mild to severe stress levels. Infertility still on the increase worldwide, and in recent years the rate of miscarriages too. We are observing that stress has become a very common illness for everyone.

 

This interferes enormously with the reproductive area, causing pathologies on the normal functioning of the reproductive system in both women and men. One of the reasons in women is the lack or decrease levels of progesterone.

 

Progesterone is a very important hormone during the preparation of the uterus lining before the embryo implantation, and during pregnancy. A constant exposition to stress will cause progesterone levels to decrease. This decrease will come with alterations in the normal cycle.

 

 

When woman are exposed to stress, the adrenal glands will produce more cortisol and adrenaline. In order to produce cortisol is necessary the use of progesterone. This will decrease the availability of progesterone, because it needs to be used by the adrenal glands in order to make more cortisol.

 

The adrenal glands cannot produce cortisol without the use of progesterone. For this reason, when exposed to any stress situation the adrenal glands will make use of progesterone to produce cortisol, and this will cause an imbalance on the adrenal gland/s functioning and progesterone availability. As a consequence there will be alterations in the uterus and its preparation for the embryo implantation and maintenance of pregnancy. It is a complete disruption of the normal-balanced cycle.

 

Every time we are exposed to stress it is necessary to think: “it is really worthy? I might end up using all my progesterone to produce cortisol because I am under stress”. Some women also use progesterone supplements to deal with some of the side effects caused by lack of progesterone (hot flushes, malaise, insomnia, headaches, mood change, premenstrual pains, etc.) The continuous use of these supplements will eventually caused a fatal and total disruption in the normal functioning of the adrenal glands. The best way would be to avoid situations of stress and try to enroll on a program that can be of benefit to control any stress situation in a given moment. For men under stress there are also other factors that interfere with their fertility causing abnormal semen parameters. There is a strong relationship between stress and lack of testosterone in males. And changes in the germ cells are observed with increase of oxidative stress.

 

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If you are a patient looking to conceive or receiving treatment already, is necessary to talk to your doctor regarding any stress situation you are going through. This may have a huge impact on your results. Your doctor will be capable of comparing the hormonal results with your current stress situation, and provide you with guidance and advise to keep a balanced lifestyle during the treatment.

 

Hormones need to be measured during the hormonal cycle in the woman (FSH, LH, estradiol, and progesterone). These hormones evaluate ovarian reserve, and any pathology involved in the cycle. Also a measurement of adrenal hormones is performed (cortisol, insulin and DHEA). They can have a strong relationship with patient’s exposure to stress levels.

 

Elevated cortisol increases the production of insulin, associated with obesity, diabetes, elevated blood pressure and heart problems.

 

The healing process starts by making the decision to stop worrying and having so much stress in your live. Your body needs to restore to its normal balance. A mind-body program has worked wonders to reduce stress and to give patients the opportunity of getting the ultimate goal of becoming parents.

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Safe zone

 

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Once I met a man who was an excellent person, he exceeded everybody’s expectation of being clever, human, humble, terribly handsome and rich. It was the perfect combination. For me it was peculiar to find him alone and with no many friends around in his life. The day I met him we clicked immediately. We started going out to places and enjoyed meals, and making study groups that consisted only in the two of us. We used to laugh at every possible joke, do shopping together, chat endlessly over the phone and hear a lot of Tony Braxton. I remember me going to study at his home at 2 in the morning and screaming his name while he though I was crazy for making such scandal on his neighbourhood ( he was very reserved and liked his own space), and had all the patience in the world to explain whatever subject I was stuck with. He helped me to understand complex things about molecular biology, physics and statistics, and was my support stone during my personal issues. Our time together was special and I knew I was his only true friend. Because I understood and accepted him as he was. He was gay.

His world was very lonely and I often wondered how a person so great and lovely could be alone. He was sad and no very happy with society, because he received constant criticism about being homosexual.

I’ve had homosexual friends before. I was raised in a family circle were prejudice, racism, religious beliefs and race were not impediments to treat others with respect and consideration. My parents were always very focused in teaching me that nobody has the power to judge others. For that reason, and because I believed it myself, I could not help but wondering -When and why societies dictated homosexuality was something considered to be bad?

There is so much intolerance, rage, jealousy and anger in the world for people considered to be “different or peculiar”.

I shared special moments with all my homosexual friends. I specially have a lot of admiration to my clever, intelligent and successful friend I mentioned. They taught me about another perspective of life. They suffer when society points at them and tries to diminish their opportunities or achievements because of their sexual orientation. It is not fair.

When people criticize someone because this person is different to others for their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race, etc.; it means they need to look into themselves first and find the reason they are afraid of change. Why is that such a big deal if the world needs us to be together right now? Have we learned anything from the lessons of our past?

I encourage you today to have an open mind. To accept people for what they are and to see inside of their souls, instead of looking the outside appearance. There are marvelous humans inside those physical bodies and you are missing it.

My beloved friend today is a singer star. I am very proud of him and his many accomplishments. He has a stable relationship with his boyfriend. And the best, our friendship keeps growing stronger than ever. He told me: “We found each other in the dark and instant light blossomed with us”.

Homosexuality is not an impediment for people to become parents. They can be as good parents as heterosexuals are. Several serious studies focused in following-up with homosexual families agreed to that. These are hard times for the world and the many wars we have lived. These are times to have an open mind and accept we all are different, it is permitted to be different, it is actually good to be different. There is no harm on it.

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Embryologist, the best job in the world!

 

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To study several years, and to finally become a biologists or a medical doctor it takes years, not easy at all. Some people study several years and decide to pursue their career as researchers or physicians. I believe just the brave ones go unto the world of becoming an embryologist. I had he chance to do anything I wanted and I became an embryologist, because it was for me the best job in the world.

 

If I could be born again I would definitely do the same, becoming an embryologist opens up the opportunity to be part of something huge, than no many people live to see. In a million years I would have imagined it was so amazing.

 

I spent years studying, learning, understanding the basics of human reproduction, the structural steps for a cell to divide, the way cells behave in nature. Nobody ever told me how it was like to work in human reproduction before.

 

My medical career started when I was very young. I wanted to become a neurosurgeon or cardiologists, both specialties I really liked. Obstetrics and gynecology was out of my list. However, for some unexpected circumstances in my life I ended up doing human reproduction and became an embryologist. If I need to explain how then it would be hard to do it, because I don’t even know how I got to be where I am right now. I just know I worked hard enough to achieve certain level of respect and recognition for my hard work. Even though I seem young to many, my knowledge keeps growing very day. I now I can offer lots of experience to my work. And like me, there are many other embryologists that have decided to dedicate their life to do the same. This career has a strong commitment and devotion that no many other careers have.

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This job does not have time, holidays or free days. When patients undergo a fertility procedure there is no free time for nothing but the embryos created. We do create them, and we need to look after them. Wherever they are coming from they are our responsibility, and must strive to provide them comfort and a perfect environment in order for them to grow and succeed inside the uterus.

 

I can’t even remember last time I had a whole eight hour sleep straight. It has been impossible for me to rest knowing there is so much more to be accomplished.

 

For all the embryologists out there, I send you my deepest appreciation for your hard work. Please do not forget we are dealing with life, with energies coming from somewhere. We are responsible to provide the right environment for development and successful implantation. Our hands are precious. You “embryologist” are unique.

 

We embryologists are tools and bridges for life to follow its course. Thanks for your hard work, keep going. Life is amazing, admire it for what it is, embrace it the way it should be, care for it because is unique, and be part of the change because this new generation is about to change the future.

 

 

Thanks for the knowledge and Thanks for letting me see into your cells.

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“When I see into the stars, it gets easier for me to understand most of the answers still out there, in the universe around us”.

I wake up everyday early in the morning, drink a large glass of water, watch some news, run for 10 minutes, get my breakfast, and head on to the clinic. I get there, get changed with clean clothes and it takes me around 5 minutes to get ready; I need to be as clean as possible. I do not wear a watch so do not need to be concerned about the time. Once I am ready, with my hair and shoes covered, and clean hands and face, I start my favorite part of the day: to go inside my embryology laboratory.

To be part of that, the place where amazing things happen, it makes me feel grateful for the opportunity of being there.

It was hard work though. Several years on the medical school, several years specializing in human reproduction, long working hours at fertility clinics in several places around the world, many hours of studying and reading new advances and research. Although I have not been a researcher publisher myself, it has been a pleasure to read new developments and achievements in the reproductive field. Everyone takes different paths. Mine was something else. To have spent long hours inside the embryology laboratories amazed by the perfection of life. I mean any life.

My mother has told me I used to be the curious one. Always admiring at things not many people were admired by. I loved nature, the sky and stars. I loved spending long hours contemplating at the night sky with my brothers. We used to ask ourselves how would it be to go out there, into the universe?.

What I did not know is that I was going to have part of the universe with me inside a laboratory where life starts at its most delicate and subtle way. When I see the embryos, which I like to call my embryos, I see the universe in its own expression of beauty and delicacy. It is possible to feel the enormous amount of energy located in one single place. The single expression of another universe we are not allowed to see while in the physical universe. I would like you to see that.

For those reasons, that is my favorite part of the day, to be inside that place.

When embryos are present they allowed me to see their beauty and perfection. Even when they are not that pretty, they look really pretty to me. We have a very strong connection and they let me appreciate their life, even for a single moment. My respect for them is huge. They deserve it. I know the place where they came from it must be pleasant and unique. For them to make the decision to come to this physical world, where they might suffer, feel pain, diseases, rejection, sadness; it is a hard and admirable decision. For that, I admire them. However, when I look into their future parents, and all the joy and happiness they will bring into their lives, I feel comforted. I know they will definitely be loved. Patients undergoing these treatments do so because they really want to have a child, and most of them will love them infinitely.

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Today a lovely couple told me: “when we take our embryos after the embryo transfer, we would like you to know they are also yours” I told them: “yes, I know they are also mine. I was the first person they trusted”. I had them with me, and that is a huge responsibility. The universe allowed me to accomplish that, and do so with my almost utterly respect and gratitude.

I appreciate every moment of my day. I see them come and leave. I see them coming into this world for the first time, and also see some of them leaving back to that place in the universe where they came from. I do not know where, but it must be incredible. Because when they leave they are all right, even if they were in this physical universe for minutes, hours or days.

Thanks for letting me see, and thanks for allowing me to be part of it. For that I will always be grateful.

Ovulation Calculator Online – Ovulation Calendar

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Ovulation Calculator. It is all about timing.

For those patients whose irregular cycles have been a issue it is advisable to check with their specialists if they are candidates to use this fertility calendar, because the dates might not be accurate for them.In fertility time is crucial. Whenever you decide to have a baby time will become one of your most precious allies. Through this Ovulation Calculator Online you will have the opportunity to predict the chances of getting pregnant and even it might possible to choose the sex of the future baby.

It is important to know when the ovulation will occur during the cycle. Some cycles are short and some long, normally every 28 days.

This Ovulation Calendar Online will help you to determine the days during the cycle you will be the most fertile. Find out when can you increase the chances of your desired pregnancy.

Enter the following data:

Date of your
last period
Days of your cycle:
Age (years)
Weight (kg)
Height: (cm)




How to use it?
Select the first day of your last period. Also select the duration of the period (days), your age (years), weight (Kg), and height (Cm). Press the button “calculate” and you will get:

  • The day of your next ovulation
  • Days of your next period
  • Fertile days, and the days with the most probabilities of conceiving a boy or girl
  • When the baby is due
  • Your body mass index (BMI) and optimal weight (OW)
  • Some recommendations regarding your weight and fertility.






The results obtained in this conception calculator regarding the fertile days and ovulation days are approximated and might not be exact. The fertility in every woman is completely different, and these period calculator are based in the overall population of fertile women.

How does the fertility calculator works?

It is actually very simple to use our Ovulation Calendar. Patients usually like to know exactly the days they are the most fertile, the days they are likely to conceive a boy or a girl, the days they might deliver the baby, and to make sure they can stick to their calendar days. Remember here we are talking about the menstrual cycle. Nature has been designed to be unpredictable and unexpected at times, for that reason it is advisable to allow a few differences when it comes to have exact dates, specially if the patient has a history of irregular menstrual cycles.

For those patients whose irregular cycles have been a issue it is advisable to check with their specialists if they are candidates to use this ovulation calendar, because the dates might not be accurate for them.

For patients with regular cycles this option is really useful. They can write their date of the last menstrual period, the usual length of their period and the calculator will do the rest showing the date of the next menstrual period, the ovulation days, the likelihood of having intercourse in certain days to increase the chances of having a baby boy or girl. There is also a great tool available of the calculation of the body mass index (BMI) when the patient provides the weight and height. This tool is really good because it will advice the patient regarding their lifestyle and choices. A BMI over the normal range will recommend the patient to try losing some weight, as we know an increase in fat tissue affects fertility outcomes. The same applies for a BMI under the normal ranges, because this will indicate the patient needs to eat healthy to increase the chances of success, and being underweight alters the normal hormonal functioning. A normal BMI will relief the patient regarding the current weight, and will indicate there might be other reasons contributing with the lack of success in their fertility attempts. Age is another important parameter I wanted to include in my ovulation calculator, because it is necessary for patients to know if their age is over 35 years the egg quality decreases exponentially, and this ovulation calculator might not be the right tool for them to achieve success in natural attempts to conceive.

Remember this tool is mostly useful for patients who have normal menstrual cycles, and who are looking to conceive naturally as a first attempt. Also is useful for those who already had their fertility procedure and are looking for the probable dates of birth of their babies.
Ovulation calendars are great tools for patients.
It is a very easy tool to be used as patients just need to write the information asked and wait for the results to be calculated in a matter of seconds.

The recommendations in every result are different, because as I always say every patient is completely different. If I recommend you to see a fertility specialist then please do so.

I invite you to have a go and try it. You might get really interesting results, and it might also provide you with valuable information about your cycle or BMI you did not know about.

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Ovulation Calendar. Video Tutorial

Is fertility trendy?

image001Because today the number of people having fertilityproblems is increasing, there is a trend for patients to go to the fertility clinic to find treatment and solutions to their problems. In the last years the number of patients in fertility clinics has been increasing, and will continue. Couple find the need of becoming parents at certain age and they know they will be able to achieve this thanks to the many advantages of reproductive techniques. Its is a great option to freeze eggs or embryos, and have them back in the uterus whenever the time is right for the parents. Also a great advantage for single woman who wish to become single mothers getting a sperm donor. The many advantages that fertility techniques offer are contributing with the fact that fertility is trendy today.

It is very normal to hear the occasional conversation of someone who knows someone who has a fertility problem. It is most common that what you think.

However, in my several visits to different fertility clinics around the world, I have encountered patients waiting for consultation at the waiting area being ashamed, scared and even trying to hide because they feel as if they were the only ones with this problem. It is not necessary to feel that way as I know as a fact the number of patients with different problems is huge. The attitude towards fertility treatments has been changing because it is very frequent, specially in developed countries.

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The brand Fertility Spa offers to patients a range of products designed to target several needs, one of them is the anxiety of going to a fertility consultation. It will make it a fun and pleasant experience. There is a line of tote bags with different scenarios that will make the patient feel proud of what they are doing, and they will also feel encouraged to speak to others about their fertility experience. The idea is targeted to make a fertility procedure a different experience for everyone. It is trendy, and it will be remembered forever, because it was part of the patient’s life, also thanks to that science the dreams of having a family became possible.

Reducing the anxiety in patients and making them feel comfortable, will definitely improve their results and views about their fertility procedure. It will be a different experience filled with joy, knowledge and hope, because most of the tools needed are inside every patient.

I have seen lots of cultures and many scenarios for what decided to contribute to make patients feel a different experience during their treatments. Fertility is trendy today, and will become a lot more popular in just a few years. Not wonder if perhaps mandatory in the near future.

“The non-biological causes of Infertility”

 

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To read this, I recommend you to have a look at some of my other articles, that way it will be easier to understand. I need you to have an open mind.

The article “Biological and non-biological causes of infertility” there contains explanations about all the biological causes. However, even though many patients present with biological causes, an increased majority are aware there is something else involved, and is not biological.

Once the non-biological causes are acknowledge, it will be easier to understand.
We humans are composed of matter. There is matter everywhere inside us. Matter is the connection with the physical world we live in. As we are submerged in our material or physical world there are ways to connect with the non-material world. It is possible to feel that connection with the non-physical world in several ways. Most people do not know this, or they prefer to ignore it because it makes it easier for their lives. I was one of them, one of the most skeptical of all, used to ignore there was another realm we can connect to in ways we are capable of receive Love and Light.

There are several non-biological causes of infertility, and they are related to our selfs and souls. Through them we can establish this connection with the rest of the Universe. They are difficult to understand at the beginning. It is hard to get the fact they affect us, because most times we are not even aware they are present.

We can summarise some of the reasons our selfs and souls get affected:

1. Parent issues: Issues with our parents, especially issues originated in this lifetime, will affect the balance in our lives. There should be a bond between parents and children. Parents make possible life through their need for reproduction, and souls choose them as parents before being born. It is important to feel respect and admiration for parents, as the lack of it creates frustration and feelings of abandonments. These negative feelings will affect our selfs and souls. the energy will suffer a blockage.

2. Traumas carried from another lifetimes: These are usually easy to eliminate. Today there are specialists in regressions and hypnosis. There are useful techniques to go back and resolve them. It is advisable to consult people specialised in resolving past traumas, as their removal will definitely clear the way for the person to respond better to any medical treatment.

3. Traumas generated in this lifetime: They will contaminate our selfs and souls with fears, obsessions, compulsions, doubt, difficulty to trust and several more symptoms, associated with the trauma. The energy generated by those negative feelings will affect our physical matter, and even create physical diseases.

4. Stress: It has been extensively studied, and the conclusions lead it to be one of the causes of infertility. Stress causes the body to manifest disease, any disease. Stress affects the cells in the body, the material/physical body. It causes cell malformation, abnormality, shrinkage, DNA alteration. The secondary effects can take years to manifest, and perhaps the disease will not even be linked to the stress itself. Thanks to research, is possible to understand the way stress affects our bodies. It has been given more respect and consideration for doctors’s recommendations to patients.

5. Frustration: Too many people in this physical world are frustrated. Some have felt frustration before and overcome it. Others are working to face it. This conditions makes people blind. They are not capable to see the big picture of life and the purpose, to live the experience. As I mentioned before, the life we came to live it was chosen for ourselves. If we are living a given situation is because is meant to be lived. The experience is to live it, and the purpose is to face it. Frustration can be a primordial component for anything in our bodies, the same as stress does. They can be related and present both at the same time. Frustration leads to anxiety and anger. It is necessary to work on those and the reasons related to the start of the feeling itself.

6. Anger: It is related to long term chronic diseases. Infertility can be one of them.

7. Ego: It lives inside each of us. It is the devil of our physical world. Some religions related the ego with satan itself, and its presence can cause devastation and chaos. There are several ways to work in our egos. Spiritual growth is recommended one.

 

Positive things to work with:

1. Consciousness: It has been studied and related to quantum fields. Unfortunately there are no scientific basis for this statement, as some scientists today are looking for ways to connect the pieces with patients with near-death experiences and no brain activity, relating details about their journeys and the experiences they had with beings from another dimensions. I have read a lot about it and know there is a line between the physical and non-physical world that might have some answers. Other respected scientists who have been studying atoms and matter for a long time, are now looking into the anti-matter and its relationship with this non-physical universe. We do not know yet. However, once something solid comes to light and lead to the conclusion of an afterlife and parallel universes with anti-matter and alien beings, it will be easier to understand the importance of combining logic with spirituality.

2. Respect for the Universe and its creations: being grateful for what we have in the present, had in the past and will have in the future. The immensity of the Universe still unmeasurable today. We have been discovering planets, solar systems, stars, which were before kind of science fiction. Today science has made possible to discover we might not be the only ones in the universe. If humans had the potential to suspect there are other beings in the universe, it might not be a matter of science fiction anymore if science makes it possible in the future.
3. Respect for our selfs: Our selfs exist because we needed to exist, in a way that our soul can connect to something inside us. It is like the cable connector from our souls present somewhere in our universe with our physical body present in the material place of the universe. It has a purpose. And the respect for that purpose and mission in life are very important. Once that connection is broken or disturbed for some reason, it will fight to establish the connection again and look for ways to show us the path again. If the message is not acknowledged the consequences can be catastrophic and affect everything in our self, because we are deviating from the purpose, from the mission in this lifetime.

4. Respect for others: As our should connect with us through our selfs, the same happens with the rest of souls, they all have a different purpose for coming into this lifetime. It is mandatory to appreciate their purpose and do not interfere with it. If we decide to interfiere that will affect their destiny and mission in this lifetime. As a consequence it will also affect us and create disturbances in the energy necessary for our cells to work properly.

 

Having explained this, it is important to work in our selfs and use the knowledge to respect the strange way the universe works. It might still a mystery today, but is starting to give us some explanations working with ourselves and others. Finding guidance and learning from people who achieved success of working within themselves. Non-biological causes might even be a bigger percentage of the cause of several diseases in the human body. For that, there is nothing to loose at working on a more spiritual level, rather than just focus on the biological causes and not getting the expected results.
 

Ovulation calculator and the menstrual cycle.

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The menstrual cycle is by far one of the most elegant physiologic phenomena occurring in the woman.

 

Normal menstruation is defined as the periodic efflux of the sloughed endometrium and blood out of the uterine cavity into the vagina and ultimately outside of a woman’s body. There are many different cultural beliefs, myths, and taboos, even within educated countries, about the purpose and function of the menstrual cycle. For adolescent girls, it is an obvious sign of pubertal development and signifies the passage into womanhood and the capability and responsibility of reproducing. Monthly menses become for many women a reassuring sign that they are not pregnant, if conception was not desired, or a cause of frustration and disappointment if pregnancy was desired. Functionally the ultimate aim of the human menstrual cycle is the development of a mature oocyte that is ovulated and fertilized. Ultimately, if fertilization is successful, implantation of a dividing embryo into the receptive endometrium of the uterus occurs.

 

Menarche, the age at onset of menstruation averages 12.8 years. The normal age range for menarche is 10 to 16 years.

 

The idealized length of the normal human menstrual cycle is 28 days from the onset of bleeding until the next episode of bleeding. There is great variability in menstrual cycle length; an interval of 24 to 35 days is considered normal.

 

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The amount of bleeding also varies widely in the number of days of bleeding and the amount of blood lost. The number of days of bleeding ranges from 2 to 8 days, but the usual length is 4 to 6 days. The average amount of blood lost with each menstrual cycle is 30 mL, and the normal range is 25 to 60 mL Even this relatively small amount of blood loss can lead to iron deficiency anemia if adequate iron is not ingested or absorbed. Blood loss of greater than 80 mL is excessive and commonly leads to iron deficiency.

 

Ovulatory woman individually have consistent menstrual cycle lengths and number of days of bleeding. There is some cycle length variability for most women, however even in a woman with regular menstrual cycles variation by 2 days in length can be seen in one third of their cycles. This variation in cycle length is attributed to the variability in the length of the follicular phase of the cycle. The luteal phase consistently is 13 to 15 days in length after menarche and remains consistent until the perimenopausal period. Great variability is seen at the extremes of reproductive life, with adolescents and perimenopausal women experiencing wide fluctuations in menstrual cycle length and the number of days of bleeding because of their tendency to experience anovulatory cycles. Adolescent girls average menstrual cycle lengths of 34 days. There is a gradual decrease in cycle length until women reach their late 30s or early 40s, when cycle length averages 27 days. Anovulatory cycles frequently begin when a woman reaches her late 40s. Cycles lengthen again and average 33 days beginning 3 years before menopause.

Significant variation in the menstrual cycle length or number of days of menses commonly leads to reproductive-age woman to seek medical advice. Pregnancy-related reasons for alterations in menstrual cycle length are the most common reasons for alterations in menstrual cycles in reproductive-age women. Lactation and abnormal pregnancies always must be ruled out as reasons for a change in menstrual pattern in every woman who seeks evaluation.

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The normal menstrual cycle is best conceptualized by focusing on the physiologic effect of the two main organ systems involved in menstrual function –the uterus and the ovary. The menstrual cycle classically is divided into phases. These phases are a convenient way to examine what is happening at different times at the level of the two main organ systems.

 

The first phase of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase at the level of the ovary and the proliferative phase at the level of the uterus. The follicular phase ends with the onset of the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. Ovulation occurs in response to the LH surge. The next phase of the menstrual cycle , which begins after the onset of the LH surge, is called the luteal phase at the level of the ovary and the secretory phase at the level of the uterus.

 

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With this excellent explanation provided by Dr, Randal Robinson in the book “Reproductive endocrinology and infertility” we have a great explanation of what the menstrual cycle is and what it is involved on it.

 

Have a look at the ovulation calculator to have a go and get a good explanation of how to use it. It is really easy.

 

 

ICSI or IVF?

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These two terms are very frequently mentioned during each one of your visits to the fertility clinic. Both of them imply different techniques using the same gametes, sperm and egg.

 

ICSI stands for Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is a technique, which takes one sperm inside a needle, and the sperm is then injected into the egg.

 

IVF stands for the In Vitro Fertilization technique, which is the placement of a sperm sample on a dish containing one or more eggs. This way the sperm will naturally penetrate de egg.

 

Both techniques are complex and require to be performed in an embryology laboratory.

 

Doctors usually have different criteria to decide if a patient goes to ICSI or IVF. Some of the criteria to do ICSI are:

 

  • Poor quality sperm. This can be shown either in the quantity, motility or morphology.
  • Patients over 40 years old
  • Prior IVF failures
  • Borderline sperm DNA fragmentation

 

Criteria to consider IVF:

 

  • Good quality sperm. This has to be shown at least in all of the criteria of motility, quantity, and morphology.
  • Patients under 40 years old
  • Sperm DNA fragmentation under 25%

 

Your fertility specialist will let you know about the results of the analysis and the criteria you have to either undergo ICSI or IVF.

 

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Sometimes a split case of IVF/ICSI can be performed, and in most cases where the sperm quality is borderline, or there is unexplained infertility there is a good chance of success. A study shows that performing ICSI on at least some of the oocytes will avoid unnecessary fertilization failure in patients with borderline semen (1)(2).

 

Several serious studies have not shown any difference on embryo quality obtained with ICSI or FIV. Some of them concluded: embryo quality does not seem to be influences by the mode of fertilization (IVF or ICSI) (3).

 

Another important fact is that live birth depends mostly on embryo quality than the method used for fertilization (4).

 

Some reproductive centers prefer to do 100% ICSI because the fertilization rates can be higher than using conventional IVF.

 

The conclusion is that the criteria to decide whether to use conventional IVF or ICSI should be taken into account in order to evaluate the true fertilization capability of the patients.

 

 

References:

 

  1. Conventional in vitro fertilization versus intracytoplasmic sperm injection in patients with borderline semen: a randomized study using sibling oocytes. Van Der Westerlaken, Naaktgenoren N. Fertil Steril. 2006 Feb;85(2):395-400.
  2. Fertilization of IVF/ICSI using sibling oocytes from couples with subfertile male or unexplained infertility. Li Z, Lin H, Xiao W. J Juazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2004;24(4):365-8,384.
  3. Comparison of embryo quality between intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertilization in sibling oocytes. R.Yoeli, R. Ovieto, J. Ashkenazi. J Assisted Reprod Genet. 2008 Jan;25(1):23-28.
  4. Pregnancy outcome and live birth after IVF and ICSI according to embryo quality. Patricia Fauque, Roger Leandri, Francoise Merlet. J Assisted Reprod Gent. 2007 May;24(5):159-165.

 

 

 

 

 

The search for life on Earth

earthPast, present, future. Infertility was, is and will still being a challenge in the world, actually it is increasing dramatically and will become a bigger challenge than what it is today. We Doctors strive to learn more and more everyday about the peculiar behaviors of Mother Nature, however we still far from the truth.

My deceased grandmother used to say: “the problems of today will become the plagues of the future”. Today I understand what she meant. We are trying to solve problems today that will be very harder to solve in the future. Let’s analyze the way we humans behave. We do have natural resources which we are consuming without the appreciation and gratefulness deserved. We do have amazing, perfect and healthy bodies, which we damage and destroy, with our daily habits. We are part of a perfect designed universe that wants us to learn and grow; instead we are stuck in our stubbornness and believe that we do not need anything else. We think very highly of ourselves when we discover something new, however we still have a lot more work to do with what we’ve accomplished, to collaborate with futures generations’s accomplishments. There is no reason or logic for our lives, according to most humans. We fight the challenges that are put in our way without understanding that those challenges were there for a reason. That is the life we are living right now, and it is not a healthy life.

Most humans have needs, emptiness, loneliness and frustrations. They expect to fulfill them with marriage, parenthood, friendship or material things. This is not the way, and if you live your life based on those premises it won’t be a great life.

We are looking for life on earth, meaningful life. The one that creates healthy, intelligent/wiser, happier human beings who will admire, adore, be grateful and contribute for the gifts nature is giving us. Humans are not the only ones whose life brings challenges. Other species also encounter the same challenges in their own way and life on earth.

The challenges we are facing today will be even bigger challenges for future generations. Because we are not contributing to eradicate them, we are hiding them into our own vanity of believing we are better than Mother Nature, and we are not.